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Foundational Abilities

Redesign the undergraduate curriculum to provide foundational abilities for life-long flourishing and learning

The current distribution requirements system should be replaced with a mandate and mechanism by which students acquire newly defined foundational abilities in language and writing; scientific, numerical, and algorithmic reasoning; interpreting complex creative expression; citizenship in a diverse world; reflective ethical agency; and independent conceptualization and collaborative undertaking of large-scale, consequential projects.

All Hopkins educational programs leading to a bachelor’s degree should include program outcomes and learning objectives clearly mapped to the foundational abilities and distribution areas. CUE2 recommends that the deans of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences (KSAS) and Whiting School of Engineering (WSE) charge their departments and academic programs with evaluating and modifying existing curricula and designing new curricula, both course-based and non-course based, that ensures that every student is trained in all of the foundational abilities.


  • The CUE2 Implementation team in KSAS is working with the KSAS CUE2 Faculty Advisory on a draft model for use of Foundational Abilities as the new General Education Requirement suitable for KSAS.
  • A preliminary mechanism for ensuring the development of the Foundational Abilities in KSAS will be ready by May 2022, tested in AY 22-23 with intended deployment in Fall 2023.
  • Dr. Matthew Pavesich has been appointed Director of the Expository Writing Program in KSAS and tasked with directing changes to the curriculum to ensure delivery of the Foundational Ability focused on command of language as readers, writers and speakers.

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